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Disabled persons denied preventative health screening coverage

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration announced that provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide health insurance to their employees, provided that they employ 50 or more workers, will be delayed until 2015. Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to delay another Affordable Care Act provision mandating that Americans either purchase health coverage or pay a penalty.

As readers can see, many key provisions of the Affordable Care Act are either being delayed or are being otherwise scrutinized by various branches of government. However, one provision that should be revisited for the benefit of Americans on Medicaid is currently not being challenged.

Many vulnerable Americans, including some ill and injured persons receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, rely on Medicaid for much of their healthcare. The Affordable Care Act somehow leaves American adults already receiving state-run Medicaid out of a new mandate requiring Medicare, Medicaid expansion plans and most private insurers to provide coverage for a variety of preventative screenings and services.

A recent study published in Health Affairs indicates that the preventative screening coverage recommended presently by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force will not mandatorily extend to most current recipients of state-run Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.

Preventative screenings designed to detect early signs of cancer and heart disease among other conditions, are critical for maintaining the health and well-being of many American adults. As various branches of government contemplate how to delay or reform the Affordable Care Act in order to protect financial interests of businesses and individuals alike, they should also revisit the provision which would leave vulnerable Americans without access to necessary preventable screening coverage.

Source: Disability Scoop, "For Many With Disabilities, Health Screenings Still Not Covered," Shaun Heasley, July 10, 2013

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